Petition to ‘Save Occasio House’ in Harlow gathers momentum

Politics / Tue 24th May 2016 am31 08:11am


occasio house

The Occasio House complex is located opposite the Harlow Playhouse

By Eric White

A PETITION on change.org opposing the planned closure of Occasio House complex has reached over 3000 signatures, with more than 2500 of them coming within the past week.

Essex County Council will soon vote on a proposal to cut support funding for homeless and vulnerable young people within the community and a petition entitled ‘Save Occasio house’ has been set up on change.org.

The petition, found at the address www.change.org/p/save-occasio-house has only been up for nine days and currently has 3,164 signatures at the time of writing.

Occasio House, found opposite the Playhouse, made up of 116 properties, offer accommodation to young single homeless people with support needs and also people who are at risk between the ages of 16-24.

It is predicted more than 100 people will be moved from their homes if the plans go ahead in October (previously was September) as planned.

Campaigner Jake Shepherd, Harlow, who set up the petition, said last week: “We now have clear support from councillors, activists, local experts and the residents of Occasio House to begin a campaign which is specific to Harlow’s community and focused on bringing to light the detrimental impacts of 100 young people becoming homeless.

”We aim to pressure East Thames Housing to reverse its decision to evict these young people as well as pressure Essex County Council in granting assurances that the like for like services being provided won’t be lost.”

There is also a facebook page www.facebook.com/saveoccasiohouse set up by the Occasio House community supporting the campaign.

The closure of the foyer has been pushed back to the end of October, however it is still due to go ahead as Essex County Council and East Thames feel the building is not sustainable for the large amount of young people living there.



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